%environment_news_service% (Biotech Bacteria Could Convert Methane to Liquid Diesel | Environment News Service http://t.co/PPO9ANxD)
The University of Washington is taking the lead and focusing on genetically modifying microbes called methanotrophs that grow naturally on methane. They have a natural ability to make fats, or lipids, from the gas. ...
“The product that we’re shooting for will have the same fuel characteristics as diesel,” said principal investigator Mary Lidstrom, a UW professor of chemical engineering and microbiology. “It can be used in trucks, boats, buses, cars, tractors – anything that diesel does now.”
The amount of natural gas flared or vented from oil wells globally is equal to one-third of the amount of petroleum used in the United States each year. And methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Every molecule of methane vented to the atmosphere in that process has the global-warming capacity of 12 molecules of carbon dioxide.